Tuesday, May 8, 2018

A Big Week Ahead

Outfit Details

First off, let's talk about this dress! It was only a few weeks ago when my Instagram feed was covered in photos and stories from Dapper Day, which is an event held at Disneyland (and Disney World) where Disney fans come dressed in their favorite fancy frocks, sometimes bound as Disney characters, to meet, shop at the Dapper Day Expo, and spend time with their friends in the world's happiest place. I attended the one last year and loved it so much, so of course I was a little bummed out that I couldn't be there for this year's festivities. I saw that one of my favorite lady bosses, Audrey of Audrey K, was wearing the most adorable rainbow printed dress I had ever seen, and immediately I went into my google search and looked up the brand, and that's when I found Love Ur Look! I was hooked by the prints and ultra feminine cuts of the dresses immediately. But when I read on their About page that they are a brand that practices sustainable and ethical practices, that really sealed the deal. The clothes are produced both in the UK and a women's factory in India, and the practices there have specific obligations which protect the workers and it is truly amazing. Not only that, but every year, the company takes some of their profits to support the well known animal shelter in India called Tolfa. The actual clothing designs are made from up cycled fabrics, such as discarded materials, like surplus stock and production off cuts, as it states on their website. If you're into retro-style fashion and you enjoy supporting a company that practices ethics and sustainability, I highly recommend that you check out Love Ur Look! Also, for those of you who follow me on Instagram, I posted myself in this dress over the past weekend in lieu of the Kentucky Derby. I mean, the print was just too perfect not to wear that day, right? :)

Now on to some more exciting news...I'm flying back to LA this week! I'll be in town visiting family, friends, and attending my good friend's wedding. I'll be honest, when I first started planning this trip, I wasn't thrilled.. not because I didn't want to see everyone, but because I was hoping I could use what money I had to go somewhere brand new. But this trip is exactly what I need right now. We are landing in the evening on Wednesday, and I'm hoping the jet lag won't be too horrendous. The next day will be filled with lots of errands, and dinner with my two of my besties. Then we're off to Joshua Tree for my friend's wedding for the weekend, and right when we return we'll be meeting up with MORE friends, and well, you get the picture. It's going to be one busy week!

Additionally, I will be working with some of my favorite LA based brands again, shooting some really fun blog posts for them so I'm thrilled about that. If we have time, we're going to try to go to the Flower Fields in Carlsbad, which I used to visit every year! Praying that it's still going to be open in a week.

If you've moved out of the state or country, I'd love to hear your thoughts on what it was like going back to your old hometown for the first time. What feelings did you think you would have vs what it actually felt like when you arrived? Were you happy to be back? Sad? A mixture of both? I'd love to know your story.

Photos taken at Tilt Recording Studios in Strömstad, Sweden

Monday, April 23, 2018

The Pros and Cons of Moving My Brand Overseas

Outfit Details

Now that I'm a fully-fledged Swedish resident, I figure it's probably time for a life update. I moved here almost 4 months ago, and I can finally say that I am used to the weather, the people and the lifestyle. But I'm still struggling to figure out how my brand fits in and it's something I'm trying to figure out all the time. For those who have been following along with me for many years, you know that I live a very colorful lifestyle. I've always been inspired by colorful clothing, colorful food, colorful buildings, etc etc which show in my work. But Sweden is a whole different world, especially the small town that I have moved to. Life moves a lot slower here, and though there are many-a pastel building, things are truly different. You won't find a new craze of desserts here such as charcoal ice cream or rainbow crepe cakes. I no longer have the luxury of getting into my car and driving to places like Palm Springs, San Diego, or Vegas, which often served as backdrops for many of my photos. My new backdrops are boats, barns and dark cafes. The next biggest city is over an hour away, but the only way I can get there is if my boyfriend drives me, and, well, he's a busy guy. Craft stores here are very limited for supplies if I want to do a flat lay. Brand events are a thing of the past (pretty sure I'm the only blogger in this town so blogger events simply don't exist here). Collaborations are harder to come by (I feel like I get excluded from many collaborations now because I'm in Europe and many of the companies I used to work with are US-based only). It's been hard, not going to lie. I've had moments of being sad about what I've lost, business-wise, by moving here, and have been up at night worrying about how my brand will ever grow at this rate, and if anyone even cares anymore.

Ever since returning from Paris, though, I've sorta kinda turned a new leaf. Traveling is so therapeutic for me as it is for many people, and it really helped put things into perspective. I recently watched a travel vlog from one of my favorite bloggers, ADashofFash, who is a blogger from Amsterdam. In the short but informative video, she showed the best places to see in the city centre of Amsterdam, and it really inspired me. The reality is: I no longer live in LA, but I do live in Sweden, and Sweden is a beautiful country. The town I moved to is adorable, and will only get more fun as the weather gets warmer (and the flowers start to bloom), so why not show it off? There are so many adorable street corners, cafes, walking paths, castles.. I could go on and on. 

So that brings me to the question: How can I keep my content fresh, in a small town that doesn't have a lot "going on"? The answer is: I don't know! I'm always trying to think of new ideas. I've been toying with the idea of starting a youtube channel, but the thought of it totally overwhelms me every time I get closer to it, and I haven't yet gotten to a point of feeling "ready", so for now it's off the table again. I think the best thing I can do for myself, at this point, is to not be so hard on myself if I can't produce a new blog post every week, and f I don't have the money to travel somewhere exciting for a while. I have to just enjoy what's right in front of me, and share this amazing place even if it's in a very simple way: by photographing it, writing about it, and by continuing to be my crazy colorful self. One of my favorite quotes is by Maya Angelou and it goes, "Be a rainbow in someone else's cloud". That quote right there is the perfect example of why I do what I do. I love nothing more than to bring my love for color and fun into people's lives, and I hope that I can continue the same even though my lifestyle has changed so drastically.

And here is where I need your help: What would you love to see more of from me on the blog and on instagram? Does a YouTube channel interest you or would you rather just watch an Instagram story? Do you want to learn more about the Swedish culture? If so, in what way(s)? Let me know in the comments below!